Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
14:51 PM

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance Comes to Monroe County

The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership is being extended to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono

Beginning in June, Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Pocono will advance the level of care for Monroe County cancer patients right in their community. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership in The Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance will extend to Monroe County at the Dale & Frances Hughes Cancer Center at LVH-Pocono.

A formal announcement is being planned that will include representatives of the LVH-Pocono’s Hughes Cancer Center, the MSK Cancer Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute. Details will be provided when plans are finalized.

“This means that cancer patients in Monroe County being treated at LVH-Pocono will now have access to all Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute support services, expert providers and leading edge technology without leaving Monroe County, as well as access to MSK clinical trials starting next year,” said Suresh Nair, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute. “Bringing all that the MSK Cancer Alliance has to offer to the Hughes Cancer Center, the region’s first and leading cancer care facility, takes the care offered in this community to yet another level.”

Nair said cancer patients in Monroe County will benefit from Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance in several key ways:

  • Clinical teams from the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute quickly learn and adopt MSK standards of care into everyday practice for their patients. By keeping up to date with the latest innovations, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute specialists make treatment decisions for their patients based on the best and most current evidence available.
  • Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute patients benefit from the diagnosis and treatment expertise of MSK doctors. Physicians from both organizations meet regularly to discuss challenging cases and identify the best treatments for patients. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute physicians also visit MSK to learn about the newest techniques and advances in care.
  • Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute patients have access to MSK clinical trials, which provide leading-edge cancer treatments under close study. Clinical trials accelerate the data-collection process so investigational treatments can be approved faster and become available to even more patients.

“The goal of the MSK Cancer Alliance is to openly share knowledge and quickly integrate cancer care advances and cutting-edge clinical trials into the community setting so patients get the care they need when they need it most while staying close to home,” said David G. Pfister, MD, Associate Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Strategic Partnerships at Memorial Sloan Kettering. “Extending Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance to the cancer program at LVH-Pocono is an exciting development in the growth of the Alliance. We know this ongoing collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute will provide a lasting benefit to people in the Monroe County community.”

MSK, the world's oldest and largest private cancer center, chose the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute to be its second Alliance member in 2015 citing its dedication to delivering high-quality, consistent cancer care, and because of the proven expertise of its physicians and medical teams. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute became a formal member of the MSK Cancer Alliance in March of 2016 following an intensive six-month collaborative review process.

Elizabeth Wise, RN, President, LVH-Pocono, said the hospital is adding more specialty physicians in cancer services following the merger with Lehigh Valley Health Network in January 2017. Besides Dr. Nair seeing patients at LVH-Pocono, the other additions include:

  • Two Medical Oncologists are joining the staff at LVH-Pocono:
    • Daniel Koh, MD, who will start on June 7
    • Dipen Patel, MD who will start on July 30
  • Surgical Oncology consultative services were launched in April with Jeffrey Brodsky, MD and Aaron Blackham, MD with Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) Surgical Oncology
  • Gynecology consultative services began in March with M. Bijoy Thomas, MD, Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and Martin Martino, MD, Medical Director for the robotic surgery program. Both physicians are seeing patients at LVH-Pocono for office visits, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, surgical clearance and follow-up appointments in addition to select surgical procedures.
About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 18 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Special Surgery give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.